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If you want to attract the right talent, you need to make sure the image of your company’s culture serves you rather than harms you.
Culture is all about patterns of behaviours, so the 1st order of business is to understand what are those patterns you want to preserve (i.e. collaboration, etc.) vs. those that do not serve you (i.e. lack of inclusivity, etc.). It is important to be clear on what those are and how they play out in a time when remote working is the norm. For example, if you want to maintain a culture of innovation across the business, you need to ensure that employees working remotely have access to tools that allow them to collaborate, and instil practices where they are encouraged to do so across the business, not just those they would normally work with. Agile ways of working, where cross-functional teams are formed temporarily to solve business challenges is a good example of this.
I think by definition all company cultures are transparent. Whether or not it is intended employees see and live the values and behaviours that are signalled and modelled by others. Transparency can certainly be harmful to your brand if your culture has many negative aspects such as aggressive internal competitiveness, hierarchical thinking or lack of empathy. This would hurt your ability to attract talent and potentially strain customer intimacy. So assume that all cultural attributes are fully transparent, and work to amplify those aspects that serve you and your customers.
The primary lesson I walked away with is that people are innovative and resilient when given the opportunity. As the old saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” and this played out last year as everyone focused on continuing to serve our customers in very difficult circumstances. The cultural shift we had embarked on for the last few years was about ensuring we increased our customer-centricity, and this past year really saw us grow in that aspect. Serving our customers, farmers everywhere, is our primary focus in everything we do, and this purpose-driven cultural NorthStar has shone brighter in the last year.
Ricardo TROIANO is the Head of Change and Organisational Development at Syngenta Group, a company he joined almost 5 years ago after almost 20 years in management consulting and 5 years in manufacturing as an engineer. Prior to his current role he was an Associate Partner at IBM’s Talent & Change practice and a Senior Managing Consultant at PwC. He has led work across four continents for dozens of clients internationally. His primary areas of expertise include driving large scale Transformation and Change across multiple industries, organisational development, culture and exec leadership development.